Let’s take a look at why it feels like you’re the only one fighting for this marriage to survive. It’s important to always have a clear understanding of the entire situation so that you can pinpoint the best solutions. Many people have the tendency to want to take matters into their own hands and try to fix everything on their own. There are a lot of situations in which I see that people really want to be in control of the situation and will try to fight the fight alone. I remember speaking with Charles about two weeks ago.
He came to me for help with saving his marriage and one of the things he said to me really stood out. He felt like it was his sole responsibility to save this marriage, because he was the one who asked his wife to marry him and share a life. The fact that things were rocky in the marriage was making him panic and feel like he had failed in his duties as a good husband.
So he said, “Adrian I need to know how to save this marriage on my own. I can’t ask anything more of my wife because she has suffered enough. So can you teach me how to save my marriage and make sure that I can make her happy again?” I know that this marriage is precious to you and that you want to do everything in your power in order to save it.
There is another common situation that I come across in my one on one coaching sessions with clients. Many times, I person comes to me asking, “Can this marriage be saved” or about how to fix a broken marriage because they are the ones who did something that resulted in the current state of affairs. Because they feel so guilty about the state that the marriage is in and whatever they did that is directly responsible for the demise of the relationship, they feel that they need to know how to save a marriage alone.
When it comes to saving a marriage, there is something very important that we need to keep in mind. Marriage is a two-way road, and that that means you need to be operating as a team to find a long-term solutions together. Though you may have done something that caused a very negative shift in the relationship, there are usually underlying issues that played a role in how and why things went south.
Like anything of value in this life, a relationship requires maintenance and effort and you both need to work towards a common goal together. This is what reinforces the complicity between you and makes the bond stronger. If there is only one person working towards fixing a relationship and the other person just watches and waits, it can actually start to build a bit of resentment between you.
The person who’s struggling to save the marriage alone can begin to resent the other person, especially if it feels like the other person is not willing to put forth the effort to patch things up. What’s more, just patching things up isn’t going to cut it. When a marriage encounters a crisis like this, it’s important to look at it as a wake up call and do what is necessary to establish a more solid foundation.
The thing about these challenging situations is that very often they are actually blessings in disguise. I know that that almost sounds ridiculous to you right now when you are in the thick of it, but when things feel like they’re upside down but you’re still thinking, “I’m the one who wants to be with you,” you will see how much you are willing to fight for this relationship, you will zero in on what changes need to be made, and all of these things will serve towards establishing a more solid foundation.
The result will be that your relationship becomes stronger than ever before, and you’d be surprised at how many people get in touch with me again after the fact to tell me that they’re happier that ever before and that their relationship is now more solid than it’s ever been. But the point I really want to make to you right now is that if you are experiencing marriage problems, both of you are going to have to work together towards finding and implementing longterm solutions.
That is not to say that you have to make less of an effort! The point here is that one person is not responsible for the happiness of both people in the relationship. We are all responsible for our own actions, and a married couple whose relationship is going to withstand the test of time is going to have to work together as a team. This reminds me of a quote that I saw recently that I really liked. “It is not you vs. your partner. It is you and your partner vs. the problem.”
My marriage is falling apart: Focusing on understanding one another
A recurring pattern and that I see in marriages that are falling apart has to do with the underlying reason for wanting to save the marriage. Sometimes a person who is “in love” with their spouse is not genuinely interested in fostering the personal growth of the other person. They’re more interested in preserving the relationship so that they can protect themselves against being lonely in the future.
This is one of the main things we need to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about saving a marriage alone and the importance of your reasoning behind it. I bring this up because I often encounter emotional dependency in my coaching sessions, so once again, we need to remember the importance of working as a team and finding common solutions to the issues at hand.
Many times a person will find themselves in a situation where they aren’t sure about whether or not they should stay in this marriage. If you are unsure, I highly recommend reading this article on when to get a divorce. If you are certain that you are ready and willing to fight for this marriage, here are some of the most powerful tools you can begin implementing starting today.
How to save your marriage alone by understanding your partner
When tensions are running high in the relationship, you can start by focusing on what makes your partner tick. What are the specific things, people, activities and places that bring your husband or wife joy? What type of behaviors, actions, and situations could rub your partner or the wrong way? As I was saying above, empathy is the greatest and simplest tool and relationship recovery.
It’s all about being able to put yourself in your husband or wife’s shoes and being able to understand them. It’s far too easy to launch into attack mode when you are only focusing on how you see this situation. The more defensive we are the easier it is to get into fights and arguments with our significant others.
But if you’re able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand what they’re feeling, it can help you to define more productive solutions and means of communication. And empathy isn’t only about understanding your partner’s negative feelings! Pay attention to their hobbies and passions, and all the things that bring them joy. Encourage them to spend more time on these things and do what you can to ensure that your partner is genuinely happy. Many marriages suffer because the two people involved lose track of their personal lives.
They start to neglect all the things that they used to do that brought them joy when the relationship takes precedent in their lives, and the result is that an imbalance develops. So if you want to know how to fix your marriage, and even if you’re trying to figure out how to save your marriage alone, you’ve got to think about what you can do to understand your partner better. Can you try to see things from his or her point of view?
My marriage is falling apart: Don’t confuse communication with neediness
Issues with communication is one of the biggest problems I see in marriages on regular basis. As you can imagine, encountering marriage problems will require communication with your partner. While it is true that actions speak louder than words, Communication needs to be established in order for you to find some clarity and get on the same page.
Sometimes we make the mistake of assuming that our partner understands what we feel and what we want, and we end up forgetting that nobody can read minds. The same is true when you are trying to figure out what is bothering your husband or wife. Sure, it would be great if you could just their mind and instantly know what they’re feeling at any given moment, but the fact of the matter is that you two need to communicate. Sometimes this presents a roadblock to a person because they worry about being needy.
They know that neediness and clinginess are two of the most common things that are responsible for putting out the flame in the relationship, so they feel like they don’t want to run the risk. They don’t want their partner to feel more suffocated or frustrated than they already are. So in the end they try to figure out how to save a marriage alone!
So be careful to avoid confusing communication with neediness. It is possible to communicate in a productive way without suffocating your significant other, and there does need to be dialogue between you two. Now, we need to pay attention to how this dialogue takes place. When you are in the process of trying to save your relationship with your husband or wife, it is very natural that you would want to speak with them often and perhaps frequently asked them if they are happy.
This is the thing you need to avoid because in the majority of cases, these questions are being asked more so that you can ease your anxiety than so that you can fix the situation. When you are coming from a place of anxiety you run the risk of being needy. When you come from a place of problem- solving and teamwork, you can make progress. The problem with neediness in these types of situations is that it can make your spouse feel like the more dominant or powerful partner, which can cause them to lose attraction to you and the relationship.
Make sure your partner feels understood when you want to save this marriage
Following in line with the importance of communication, we also need to think about how to ensure that your partner feels heard and understood by you. With everything going on it is all too easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts, our own feelings, our own situation, our own desires etc. But if you want this relationship to survive, your partner needs to feel that they can be understood by you.
A lot of times people don’t want to hear their partner out because they don’t want to hear any criticism. Well, as I already said, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Every single one of us has room for improvement. So being open to hearing your partner’s frustrations and accepting criticism can actually provide you with the key to saving this marriage. By accepting your husband or wife’s frustrations with you and with the relationship, you can actually determine the best ways in which you can fix it, ease the tension, and save your relationship!
Using reflective listening when your marriage is falling apart
The truth is that actually listening to what the other person has to say is one of the most sincere form of respect! I like to encourage my clients to engage in reflective listening, which basically consists of reassuring their partner that their words are not going in one ear and out the other. Reflective listening is essentially the act of repeating back to someone, in your own words, what they have just said.
The idea here is to 1. Check to see if you’ve heard them correctly 2. Help them realize that you are truly listening to them. The simplest way to do this is to repeat back what your partner is saying to you. For example, “So what you’re saying is that you feel neglected in the relationship and that I could make more of an effort to carve time out for us. Okay, this is something I am going to work on.” Of course, this needs to be followed up by concrete actions because if not, things could actually get worse because your partner thinks you’re giving them empty promises.
“Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart. And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected.” – Richard Carlson
Save my marriage: Do not bury emotions
I know you want your partner to hear what you have to say, understand it, and really take it into account as well! It is important that you both do this together and develop positive patterns in your relationship. The more you make an effort to understand one another, the easier it is for this to be a common practice.
Simply put, the more you do this, the more natural it will become. In addition to this, another thing I want to bring your attention to the importance sure that you are never suppressing emotions. This often feels like an easy way out or a quick fix, but burying or hiding your frustrations can actually do quite a bit of damage. Ignoring, dismissing, for suppressing your emotions doesn’t get rid of them; it just buries them beneath the surface. It tucks them away to fester and arise again at a later time, often in a more amplified state.
The longer something is allowed to fester beneath the surface, the larger it can become. So when you recognize and validate your emotions instead, not only do you nip them in the bud, you strip away all of the judgment responses. Instead of being subjected to the “I’m bad,” “This is wrong,” or “I shouldn’t” responses, your experience will simply flow through you and won’t remain stuck beneath the surface. This will help you quiet the inner critic and live a more present and enjoyable life.